Spanish and European architectural styles often reflect a laidback and warm life. The presence, for example, of courtyards in many Mexican style homes not only makes the style elegant but also relaxing. Mexican haciendas combine design elements from native and colonial traditions. The choice of colors usually suggests a more desert-like scheme, thus projecting warmth and dryness. Profuse use of terracotta adds to the warmth in the courtyard garden, as do vegetables and herbs planted in the garden. In this article, you will learn how to design your courtyard so that it will have a Mexican hacienda style.
- Decide on where to locate your courtyard. Depending on factors such as personal preference or availability, you can choose to convert your front yard into a Mexican hacienda style courtyard. You can also choose one side of your house, or even the backyard.
- Design your layout. Preparing a mood board or a rough sketch for your design often helps you figure out the optimal arrangement and locations of various elements that make up a Mexican-inspired hacienda-style courtyard. For example, one of the most important decisions you will have to make concerns the location of the fountain, which is often the centerpiece of any Mexican hacienda courtyard. In your layout, decide where you wish to place seats, the fireplace, pathways, and plants. Visualizing your courtyard garden will also help you identify what improvements or renovations to make, as well as what equipment, fixtures, materials, and supplies you need to buy. You can buy most of these from home improvement stores. Remember to decide on what plants to include, as well.
- Lay your flagstones. Dig holes in the ground for each slate. A depth of about 4 inches should suffice. The shape of the whole should be the same as the slate that you will lay on it. Fill the hole with sand and gravel up to 3 inches in depth, making sure that you tamper them in place. Place your slate on top of the sand and gravel. Fill the spaces and crevices with sand, then spray water on your pavement to firm up the tiles and soil. When you shop for tiles, choose clay or earthen colored ones, as they will make your courtyard more authentic-looking.
- Fence in your courtyard with a low wall. You can use cinder blocks and stucco. You can also add a gate for the entrance to your courtyard. The gate can be made of wrought iron or wood. For night lighting, you can install light fixtures on both sides of the gate. Just make sure that the style, design, or finish of the light fixtures blend in with the rest of your other Mexican hacienda courtyard elements.
- Install your fountain, fireplace, and benches. The fountain gives your courtyard its relaxing atmosphere. The sight of water in the midst of dryness is very refreshing. Install your fountain in a place of prominence. The fireplace is optional, but it also adds more authenticity to your Mexican style courtyard.
- Add plants. Choose a variety of both flowering and non-flowering plants. An assortment of vegetables and herbs will go well in a Mexican hacienda courtyard. Include some potted plants. For best effect, use clay pots, especially those with hand-painted colors and designs.
With enough planning, effort, and a dose of creativity, you can easily convert your yard into a Mexican hacienda-style courtyard. Just keep in mind the tips discussed in this article to make your work easier.